Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Cloudy, rainy, cold
Wrote in the morning, in spite of Violet now insisting that she must sit in my lap while I type. She’s small, but it’s still like trying to reach around a meatloaf.
Spent most of the morning raking and tidying up the front and side yards. They look pretty darned good, if I say so myself, and even some of the neighbors stopped to compliment me on the hard work! One has a landscape business and I don’t think he understands that I WANT to do this — what’s the point of having a yard if you simply hire someone else to do it all the time, like they do in Westchester? It’s interesting — on this street, most of us have much larger yards than the clients I worked for in CT — yet here, most people do their own yard work (and then hire someone to come in and haul it away or do the last-minute tidying that makes more sense by machine. Everyone here works (except for my retired neighbor, but he’s always very busy — his wife is already on the 14th batch of holiday cookies in her baking cycle!) and has busy lives, and it all gets done somehow. Back in Westchester, everyone just spun around and complained how busy and stressed they were and nothing ever got done on time, there were always excuses, so they kept hiring in people to do it. People actually DO a lot more here, and a lot more gets done — there’s simply less drama about it. Plus, there’s not that sense of entitlement and resentment and feeling like one doesn’t have enough because someone else has more. I think the difference is that here, people actually do stuff — they’re not concerned with what I called “faux busy-ness”, where one’s schedule is crammed with meaningless crap. There’s work, the stuff that has to get done to maintain one’s home and family, and there’s fun stuff. And somehow, it all seems to flow together without much angst. I greatly prefer it.
In the afternoon, we drove up to check out Barnstable Village — very cute. Stopped at Nirvana Coffee, which was nice (can you tell I’m looking for a new coffee hangout spot?), walked around, met a really nice (and cute) guy with his newly rescued husky, who thought coffee was something she really ought to try.
Drove back and saw that one of the houses I’ve admired for about ten years is on the market, so stopped and picked up a flyer. It’s out of my budget at the moment, unfortunately, and right on 6A, which is a little too busy for me. But it was built in 1700 and modernized, and has a large main house, a guest cottage, and a fully electrified post-and-beam barn that used to be an antique shop. The grounds are gorgeous. It even has a library! And five working fireplaces. The only drawback (other than the fact that I don’t have the cash sitting around to buy it) is that it is on that main road. It’s busy now, and, in summer, will just be hateful. And since so many of the summer people have no respect for anyone’s property and just park wherever they want and wander over people’s yards and litter, etc. — I’d probably hurt someone.
But that’s another cool thing about living around here — since I’m planning to rent for a few years, I can watch the houses I really like and see if they go up for sale. If the right house becomes available at the right time . . .
I love this house, and I want to stay for a few years, but the simple truth is that, when I buy, I need to go bigger. I always joked about that 13 room Victorian — yeah, that’s about the size I need for myself, my books, and the animals.
Anyway, hit a gift shop I’ve been meaning to check out for awhile, found some great Yule gifts, but didn’t like the vibe of the owner at all, so I won’t be back. Drove home a different way, learning the neighborhood, through lots of horse paddocks and conservation land, which I’ll have to check out as soon as it’s warm enough. Approached my street from a different direction and nearly missed it, because it’s harder to recognize.
Started the assignment for Confidential Job #1 — interesting, but again, I’ve had a whole set of very similar assignments in a row from that job, and they’re starting to lump together.
Some books arrived from Strand, although the pie book was sold out. But I got Alan Bennett’s UNTOLD STORIES he’s one of my favorite playwrights) and Nicholas Basbanes’s EVERY BOOK ITS READER. I started the Bennett book. It’s wonderful, but I expected no less.
I’m still playing with the character who arrived the other day, and still don’t quite know what to do with her. I’d like to try a short story and see if we get along, before I make a novel-length commitment. Have another idea I’m playing with this morning.
The workshop is humming along nicely. I have to finish up a couple of blog posts today and get them off. I’m hoping I can sneak in a bit of time raking the flat back before the rains start, but it looks a little sketchy right now. I might just have to leave it and hope it dries out this weekend so I can take care of it.
Comcast totally sucks, as expected — trouble with the TV, the internet, the phone, impossible to reach a customer service rep either via “live chat” (right, live, that’s why no one shows up) or on the phone. So much for 24 hour support! Really not happy they are my only option on the Cape.
The big event today is to start putting up the tree — my Very Big Old Tree — we’ll see how that works.
I can’t believe it’s December already! Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate — I really need to get my act together and start getting those cards out!
There’s going to be a full moon on the Winter Solstice — how lovely!